The theory of social and economic organization

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Free Press, Jul 1, 1997 - Social Science - 436 pages
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The fullest general statement of Max Weber's sociological theory to appear in any of his writings, "The Theory of Social and Economic Organization" is an introduction to Weber's ambitious comparitive study of the sociological and institutional foundations of the modern economic and social order. In this work originally published in German in 1920, Weber discusses the analytical methods of sociology and, at the same time, presents a devastating critique of prevailing sociological theory and of its universalist, determinist underpinnings. None of Weber's other writings offers the reader such a grasp of his theories; none displays so clearly his erudition, the scope of his interests, and his analytical powers.

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Contents

The Author and His Career
3
Webers Methodology of Social Science
8
HI Webers Economic Sociology
30
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Max Weber, a German political economist, legal historian, and sociologist, had an impact on the social sciences that is difficult to overestimate. According to a widely held view, he was the founder of the modern way of conceptualizing society and thus the modern social sciences. His major interest was the process of rationalization, which characterizes Western civilization---what he called the "demystification of the world." This interest led him to examine the three types of domination or authority that characterize hierarchical relationships: charismatic, traditional, and legal. It also led him to the study of bureaucracy; all of the world's major religions; and capitalism, which he viewed as a productof the Protestant ethic. With his contemporary, the French sociologist Emile Durkheim---they seem not to have known each other's work---he created modern sociology.

Talcott Parsons (1902 1979) was the eminent Harvard sociologist who sought to integrate all the social sciences into a science of human action. Among his influential books are "The Structure of Social Action" and "Politics and Social Structure.

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